My step-mother, Lois, came from West Texas Plains folks who cooked with the fruit and vegetables their backyards yielded and everyone in the South has a peach tree or two. Their food was like their lives: nothing fancy: basic and sturdy.
When I was a young mother and not working she had me come over one day to “put up” peaches. She went to the Farmers Market and got a bushel of fresh peaches. Then we spent the rest of the day peeling and cutting up peaches into bags that she froze. We peeled so many peaches that the acid from the fruit not only turned my hands prune-like but it ate the callouses off my hands and a few fingerprints, too. At the end of the day she was delighted with our bounty. She could make a peach cobbler anytime in the following year with the next best thing to fresh.
There was only one catch: Lois was a horrible cook. Fresh peaches or frozen, old family recipe not withstanding, she could take perfectly wonderful ingredients and do horrible things with them. I think part of the reason she wasn’t a very good cook is that she wasn’t much of an eater. She could take food or leave it. To her cooking was something she did for other people because it was expected of her.
Lois’ father was a circuit riding preacher and many times the situation was reversed with visiting preachers at their house for days on end plus their entire large family. She had watched her own mother cook for a houseful of family and strangers, spending the entire day in the kitchen then wake up in the morning and do breakfast the same way.
Ma Wood always had two kinds of meat at a meal with just about every vegetable in the garden on the table in one form or the other. And, of course, pies and cobblers.
Alas, the family cooking gene skipped past Lois completely.
And Beaven made the biggest mistake of his life the first time he was invited for dinner with my family. He told Lois the peach cobbler was delicious and he loved it. From that moment on, whenever she cooked for us she would parade the cobbler around the kitchen and place it in front of him. Then she would pronounce with great pride: “I made Beaven his favorite!”
For the next 30 or so years until she stopped cooking he had to eat the cobbler and pretend it was delicious. Other family members developed severe allergies to peaches but Beaven was
not as clever too honorable.
But you can trust this recipe. I got it from the internet and everyone knows the internet doesn’t make mistakes. Also, Beaven likes it and he wouldn’t lie to me. There have been times I wished he would lie so I know he’s being honest when he says this is a good recipe.
Instead of a biscuit topping I use pie crust. And it doesn’t need to be fancy shapes or intricately latticed strips. A cobbler can be kind of messy. Actually, you could just tear off globs of crust and throw them around. The bar is set pretty low for cobbler in my house. If it’s even edible we call it a victory.
AND the BEST part of this recipe is that you don’t have to spend the day putting up peaches until your fingerprints disappear. Walmart sells frozen peaches in a one pound package.
· 2 lbs frozen peaches
· 1/4 cup sugar
· 1 teaspoon cornstarch
· 1 tablespoon lemon juice
· 1 pinch table salt
· Pie crust: from “scratch” or ready-made….I won’t tell
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Defrost peaches completely in colander. Gently toss peaches and sugar together in large bowl; let stand for 30 minutes, tossing several times. Drain peaches in colander set over large bowl. Whisk 2 tablespoons of drained juice (discard extra), cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt together in small bowl. Toss peach juice mixture with peach slices and transfer to 8-inch-square glass baking dish.
Bake until peaches begin to bubble around edges, about 15 to 20 minutes.
For the topping: While peaches are baking, get out the pie crust recipe and cut into strips. Lay the strips in a relaxed lattice-like design.
To assemble and bake: When peaches bubble around edges, remove baking dish from oven and place dough strips in a relaxed lattice design.. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake until topping is golden brown, about 18 minutes. Cool cobbler on wire rack until warm, about 20 minutes; serve.
If you invite Beaven and he tells you it’s the best he’s ever eaten, the chances are pretty good that it is. He’s learned his lesson.